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Murdoch found guilty of Backpacker Murder


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#1 Lee W

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 11:43 am

Murdoch guilty of Falconio murder
Tuesday Dec 13 22:38 AEDT
Bradley John Murdoch (AAP)

Bradley Murdoch has been found guilty by a Northern Territory Supreme Court jury of murdering British backpacker Peter Falconio.

The Broome mechanic was also found guilty of assaulting Mr Falconio's girlfriend Joanne Lees and depriving her of her liberty.

The Northern Territory Supreme Court jury of six men and six women took eight hours to reach their unanimous decision.

Chief Justice Brian Martin sentenced the 47-year-old to the mandatory life term for murder.

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Submissions on a non-parole period will be heard at a later date.

The decision followed an eight-week trial, which heard from 85 witnesses and had more than 300 exhibits tendered.

Ms Lees and Mr Falconio's family have sat in court throughout the entire trial.

The prosecution alleged Mr Falconio was shot in the head after Murdoch pulled over the couple's Kombi van on a remote stretch of the Stuart Highway four years ago.

Murdoch then threatened Ms Lees with a gun, punched her in a head and bound her with cable-tie restraints, but she later managed to escape.

The prosecution suggested Murdoch may have killed Mr Falconio either because he thought he was following him, or because he saw Ms Lees driving the vehicle earlier and thought she was alone.

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#2 DanielS

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 11:45 am

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